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Sudan OCHA bulletin 31: Hepatitis E outbreak in Sortony, North Darfur

August 6 - 2016 KHARTOUM

Some 134 cases of suspected Acute Jaundice Syndrome (AJS) have been reported since May 2016 in Sortony, North Darfur, according to the state Ministry of Health, Médecins Sans Frontières-España (MSF-E), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Sudanese organisation Anhar for Peace Development Organisation.

The overcrowded site near the Unamid base in Sortony hosts more than 21,000 people who were displaced from Jebel Marra following hostilities earlier this year. Seven samples sent for analysis tested positive for Hepatitis E virus.

The North Darfur Health Ministry has declared an outbreak of Hepatitis E in Sortony, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported in its latest weekly bulletin.

AJS is an epidemic-prone, water borne disease with a faecal-oral route of transmission through contaminated water. Jaundice outbreaks mostly occur in areas where people live in cramped conditions, with poor water supply and insufficient sanitation and hygiene facilities, such as Sortony. The current rainy season is likely to contribute to the unsanitary conditions.

Efforts by the state Health Ministry and Humanitarian health, water, and sanitation partners aim at containing the outbreak. They include health promotion-related activities and improving the water quality through chlorination. In addition, water quality surveillance and vector control activities have been strengthened, and active case finding is ongoing.

Drugs and medical supplies to cover two months were provided to health clinics run by MSF-E and Anhar organisation, with support from WHO, the UN Children's Fund (Unicef), and the Ministry.

Displacement from Jebel Marra in Darfur

During the first seven months of 2016, close to 81,000 people were newly displaced across Darfur, according to the UN and partners. Up to an additional 170,000 people were also reportedly displaced, of whom 50,000 have reportedly returned, but the UN and partners are unable to verify these figures due to a lack of access to the relevant locations.

The vast majority of the displacement this year to date was triggered by the conflict in the Jebel Marra area, which started in January. Efforts are ongoing to access areas reportedly hosting Jebel Marra displaced in South and Central Darfur and to identify the number and needs of the displaced. Although the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) in Central Darfur reported that displaced people in North Darfur originating from Jebel Marra have started returning, no clear movements from North Darfur have been observed as yet.

Measles cases among South Sudanese refugees

Some 74 suspected measles cases have been reported since early June in Ailliet locality in North Darfur, mainly among South Sudanese refugees, according to the Sudanese Cooperation for Development Organisation (CDO), of which ten cases were reported between 25 and 31 July.

Almost 93,000 refugees from South Sudan are estimated to have arrived in parts of Sudan since January this year, fleeing ongoing conflict and heightened food insecurity, of whom almost 55,000 are in East Darfur. According to CDO, over 2,600 South Sudanese refugees arrived in Ailliet between 20 and 26 July, bringing the total to an estimated 5,306 refugees in the locality from South Sudan.

CDO reported that there have been two measles-related deaths in the area. Of the 44 samples sent for laboratory testing, 22 samples tested positive for measles. CDO and the state Health Ministry started a vaccination campaign in the affected areas, targeting all South Sudanese refugees. The host community is covered by the routine vaccination campaign.

New camp for South Sudanese refugees in East Darfur

South Sudanese refugees in  Khor Omer camp for the displaced people will be relocated to a new camp in Kario in East Darfur.

The camp layout is being finalised by a UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) site planner to accommodate 6,000 households or an estimated 30,000 people. Unicef, WHO, the East Darfur Health Ministry, and the Sudanese National Initiative Development Organisation are planning to visit Kario to support the site planning. United Methodist Committee on Relief has secured materials for 1,400 household shelters, and UNHCR will cover the remaining needs.

On 27 July, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) started to distribute 1.9 metric tonnes of general food assistance in Khor Omer to cover the needs of 29,201 people, including 3,580 children under five, and pregnant and lactating women. Water trucking continues in Khor Omer, and all water needs are reportedly covered.

Relocation of South Sudanese refugees from Raja

An estimated 6,000 South Sudanese refugees fleeing conflict in Raja, South Sudan are dispersed across various locations in East Darfur, including the former “Raja” informal camp in Ed Daein town and El Ferdous town, the OCHA bulletin reads.

Authorities plan to relocate the South Sudanese arrivals from Raja to a new location in El Nimir in East Darfur. Initial emergency assistance has been provided in “Raja” informal camp including nutrition screening and nutritional supplements, and further humanitarian assistance will be provided after relocation.

About 80,000 people affected by flooding

Rainfall between early June and late July caused flash floods in many states across Sudan, particularly in Kassala and Sennar States, damaging houses and infrastructure, and leading to loss of life and productive assets. According to FEWS Net, there is an increased risk of flooding along the River Nile and its tributaries in Sudan over the next few weeks as heavy rains are expected upstream of the Blue Nile.

About 80,175 people have been affected so far according to the Government of Sudan, SRCS, and partners. In affected areas, the Government estimates that 15,955 houses have been damaged, of which 5,492 were completely destroyed. Almost 16,000 houses have been destroyed or damaged due to heavy rains and flooding across Sudan to date in 2016, according to HAC.

The government-led National Flood Task Force is working with key actors to monitor flooding and responses, and government authorities and local communities are working to respond to the needs arising from heavy rains and flooding. As in earlier years, the international community may need to respond in some locations and support flood preparedness and response measures in partnership with national actors.

Response for flood-affected in West Kordofan

Following a request for support by HAC in West Kordofan, an inter-agency team visited En Nahoud locality to assess the situation in the area as a result of heavy rainfall on 16 and 18 July. An inter-agency assessment mission including HAC reported that two people died, 8,673 people were affected, 541 houses collapsed and 698 were partially damaged owing to flooding.

Plastic sheets were distributed by the governmental Zakat Chamber to 156 households whose houses were completely destroyed, but the mission recommended further assistance in the form of household items for all families whose houses had collapsed.

Support for latrine disinfection and construction and provision of water are urgently needed. High incidences of diarrhoea and upper respiratory infections were reported among the residents, but so far there has not been any outbreak of communicable diseases. The state Ministry of Health, WHO, Unicef, and Save the Children Switzerland plan to provide essential drugs and mosquito nets, conduct vector control and carry out a cleaning campaign.

Over 27,000 people affected by flooding in Kassala

Heavy flooding in parts of Kassala State in mid and late July has affected 27,735 people, according to HAC. Plastic sheets and mosquito nets were distributed by HAC to 100 families affected by flooding which occurred earlier in July.

People affected by the most recent flooding are in need of shelter materials, emergency food supplies, health assistance and water, according to an assessment team composed of HAC, SRCS, the governmental Water and Environment Sanitation Department, as well as Unicef, UNHCR, and WFP, which visited Aroma, one of the flood-affected localities. Government and humanitarian partners will work together to respond to the needs in flood-affected parts of Kassala including Aroma and Hamashkoreib localities.

Displacement in West Darfur

Following hostilities between pastoralists and farmers in Um Tajok village, Kereinik locality in West Darfur in late June, an estimated 2,750 people (550 families) were reportedly displaced to the surrounding area.

According to a mission conducted by Unamid in Darfur, the majority of those displaced have returned to their villages of origin for seasonal farming. However, an estimated 575 people (115 families) remain displaced in the Um Tajok area, who are reportedly in need of emergency shelter and essential household items, and the situation is still tense. HAC, SRCS, ADRA, and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency and War Child Canada plan to carry out a rapid needs assessment this week.


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